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There’s an Animal in the Road. What Do You Do?

You’re driving on I-15 – or the Beltway, or on some street in Las Vegas – and you see an animal in the road in front of you. You have to decide what course of action to take.

You know when the precise wrong time is to think about this situation for the first time? Right before it happens. In other words, if you “cross that bridge when you come to it,” you may wind up tumbling over that bridge.

That’s may have been what happened today on U.S. 95, when a woman driving a sport utility vehicle apparently swerved to miss an animal on the road, rolled her sport utility vehicle near Cheyenne Avenue, and wound up in the hospital with critical injuries. At this point, it’s not known exactly what type of animal it was. But unless it was a grizzly bear, a bull elk, or a blue whale, she probably could have handled the situation better by not swerving sharply.

Look, there’s nothing wrong with loving animals and trying to do what you can to protect their well-being. But at the end of the day, Las Vegas is a big city, and its roads are for objects with wheels and steel, not creatures with paws and fur. So if it comes down to deciding whether to risk your health or the health of an animal, well…

Here’s another way to look at it. What if the woman had swerved and struck an oncoming car, and killed its driver – or a child inside the car? That’s a personal injury lawsuit (or wrongful death lawsuit) waiting to happen. It should also be noted that animals generally don’t file lawsuits.

In the end, it’s your decision how to handle the animal-on-the-road situation. But it’s wise to at least have a plan of action planted in your brain and ready to be executed if such a scenario occurs. Otherwise, all kinds of mayhem can occur.